Satoru Iwata, 6.12.1959 – 11.7.2015

While I was asleep, the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, died. Death is always a rather heavy thing, and whatever stance I usually have towards him will be set aside for now, as he did a lot of good as well.

Iwata was a person who was behind the gamers. He had integrity when it came to gaming, as he understood that the coders could not say what the designers could not do, but also that the only person who has any rights to be selfish in the industry was the customers. Iwata well understood the dynamics between provider and customer, and this understanding without a doubt helped him to drive through the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii, two of the most successful consoles in the company’s history.

I hope you will some of you will read Iwata’s speech from GDC 2005. There you can see the little things that shine through, and those little shiny things are the reason why Yamauchi himself chose Iwata to be his successor over Miyamoto. He could understand both the customer and the provider. That is a rarity.

“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.”

Whatever this means for Nintendo is an open question. At the end of their official statement, there are two names we can take as candidates who could take Iwata’s spot; Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto. Out of the two, I have to admit I personally wish for Takeda’s entry, but it’s more likely that Miyamoto will be chosen due to his rockstar nature.

Whatever NX will be is already set in stone and Nintendo will follow with that plan for the rest of the decade, and the NX could be seen has his final egacy, but his true legacy is how he expanded gaming and defied boundaries to do so. Now, there will be sadness in the company, but also emergency meetings. Iwata was the CEO of both NoJ and NoA, and these seats need to be filled fast during this transitional phase. Perhaps Miyamoto would be a good CEO until someone who could truly inherent the position.

I have to end this post by saying that he passed away a bit too early. Even if none of his family well ever know, I must state my condolences.


I think Satoru Iwata, while face of the company, truly cared for the customers and wanted to be regarded more a friend than a businessman
I think Satoru Iwata, while face of the company, truly cared for the customers and wanted to be regarded more a friend than a businessman

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